Sourdough Pizza

Making sourdough is a favorite pastime for many, but within the last few weeks thousands more have joined the club, as yeast is suddenly hard to find on the grocery store shelves. We here at Breadin5 have been making sourdough for years, and while we have a post on our Easy Sourdough Starter, we realized there are many more things to make with our no-knead bread method. We had some requests for a sourdough pizza crust, and we are delivering (pun intended).

We know that flour is also scarce, and the bread flour called for below may not be available to you right now. Since different types of flours have different protein levels (and this of course effects the recipe), we have included a video on mixing flour and adding more water if necessary. If you need help finding flour, good places to look are local bakeries (they sometimes will sell flour to customers), and restaurant supply stores. You can also check out Baker’s Field Flour & Bread – they are local to Minneapolis, but ship nationwide.

Finally, if you are interested in all things sourdough, check out this article on the scientists who revived yeast microbes from 4,500 years ago to make a loaf of bread.

Sourdough Pizza

Note: You’re going to need a sourdough starter. If you haven’t started one yet, please check out our post for Easy Sourdough Starter. Our method uses whole wheat flour, but I used bread flour (same proportions) in mine for the pizza.

Flour has different protein contents depending on the type and brand, which can effect how much water to use. If you mix your dough and it seems dry, more water can be added. We have included a video below of Zoë mixing up a batch of dough so you can see how your dough should look, and add water accordingly.

We have instructions in our Healthy Bread in Five Book for ‘semi’ sourdough – using some of the starter along with yeast to give a milder sourdough flavor. Check out page 390 for details.

Extra dough can be portioned into 10-ounce balls and frozen, if desired. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap, and then place in a freezer safe bag. Dough can be pulled out the night before using and thawed in the refrigerator overnight.

If you need extra help rolling out pizza dough and transporting it to the oven, there is a video at the very end where Zoe shows you how to do so.

2 cups lukewarm water (see note above)

3 cups activated levain (sourdough starter)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/8 cup olive oil

6 cups [840 g] bread flour

Mix the water, activated levain, salt, sugar, and olive oil together in 5-quart container or the bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix in the flour with a Danish dough whisk or a heavy duty stand mixer. Cover (not airtight) and allow it to rest at room temperature until the dough rises, two hours or more (sourdough can take a lot longer to rise than commercial yeast. I let mine rise for 4 hours at room temperature, then moved it to the fridge overnight, where it continued to do a slow rise).

If your dough looks dry (which may happen depending on what type of flour you are using) you can add more water. Zoë demonstrates how your dough should look in the video below:

The dough can be used immediately after it’s initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use for pizza over the next few days.

Preheat a baking stone at your oven’s highest temperature for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle a pizza peel liberally with flour. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 10-ounce piece. Dust it with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Cover the dough with a piece of plastic wrap or kitchen towel, and let rest for 20 minutes.

Flatten the dough with your hands and/or a rolling pin on a work surface, or directly onto a wooden pizza peel, to produce a 1/8-inch thick round. (You can also put it on a piece of parchment paper for ease. Note that your crust won’t brown as nicely if doing so! Parchment is shown in the photos below because I needed to move the pizza around to take photos. Also, my kids prefer a lighter crust. But if you want a dark crust, use a pizza peel.) Dust with flour to keep the dough from adhering to the surface. Use a dough scraper to unstick the dough as needed, and transfer to a pizza peel if you haven’t stretched the dough out on one already. When you’re finished, the dough round should have enough flour under it to move easily when you shake the peel.

Add toppings to your pizza (I kept mine simple: sauce and cheese, with a scattering of basil leaves after the pizza emerged from the oven). Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone. Check for doneness in 8 to 10 minutes, and turn the pizza around in the oven if one side is browning faster than the other. I took my pizza out earlier for a lighter crust (my kids’ preference), but you can take your crust as dark as you like.

Allow to cool slightly, preferably on a wire cooling rack. Cut into wedges and serve.

Watch Zoë roll out pizza dough here (you can find the full video on Instagram):

You can also do cracker-crust pizza with this dough, or any of our lean doughs.

Fresh Tomato Pizza

Tomato Pizza | Breadin5 photo by Zoë François

Labor day is a turning point; when we switch our thinking from picnics to packed school lunches. But, it is also the time when the summer fruits are busting out their last hurrah and the tomatoes are in their peak glory. This tomato pizza is an ode to my dad’s garden and the bounty of tomatoes and squash that he grew. He is a magnificent gardener and this pizza needed nothing more than olive oil, a dash of salt and fresh herbs to be magnificent. I threw on a bit of mozzarella to satisfy the children.

I made the pizza dough from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, using bread flour from a local miller, Bakersfield Flour and Bread, but you can use all-purpose or bread flour that you have on hand. It is fun to experiment with all kinds of flours and pizza dough is just the place, since it is so forgiving. You can watch me toss this dough in the air (there is a cameo appearance by my poodle, Miles) in our @breadin5 Instagram video.

tomato pizza | Breadin5 photo by Zoë Francois (more…)

Grilled Breakfast Pizza Two Ways

Grilled Breakfast Pizza Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

We’ve had some incredibly warm days here in Minneapolis (scorchers, as we like to call them, as in ‘what a scorcher!’) so our grill has been in constant use. Grilling during extremely hot weather isn’t always the best idea, because, well, that grill is hot, but it does keep the house much cooler. I decided on one of these raging hot mornings that I would start grilling early – friends were coming over for a late breakfast, and maybe we could just do pizzas? With breakfast toppings? Everyone was amused by the idea of breakfast pizza, and now my kids request it daily. We made two different kinds: eggs, bacon, and Swiss chard with a roasted garlic sauce, and peach-sausage-basil with mozzarella. Both were considered hits by all.

Grilled Breakfast Pizza Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Sheet Pan Pizza

sheet pan pizza

My kids are crazy about pizza. I could really make it every night of the week, and they would never complain. Most pizza nights I turn to stovetop pizza because it is so fast and easy, but I’m finding the older they get, a thicker crust fills them up and keeps them happy.

I received a copy of Ken Forkish‘s wonderful new book, The Elements of Pizza, and was happy to find a classic ‘Grandmpa Pie’ recipe on it’s pages. This pizza is parbaked in an oil-brushed half sheet pan, which helps keep the crust crispy without over baking the cheese. Toppings are then added, and the pizza is baked again and finished under the broiler. It was an instant hit when I made it.

Because this version of pizza is a little more time consuming, I tried it out with our no-knead pizza dough. Sure enough, it was just as delicious, and my family couldn’t tell the difference.

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Deep Dish Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza

Deep dish pizza is a favorite meal around my house, but I often forget to add it to our weekday meal plan. This week, however, I was ahead of the game, and planned for deep dish pizza night. No-knead cornmeal olive oil dough makes this almost too simple, and the thick pizza slices filled with sausage and cheese meant one piece each was enough for all of us. Of course, it’s been requested again, and next week I think I’ll stuff it full of onions, green pepper, and mushrooms, for a vegetarian take.

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Stovetop Pizza with Spelt Dough

spelt pizza3A

With the holidays tucked safely behind, I’ve found myself trying to incorporate healthier foods into my family’s New Year diet. There were some subtle groans about the 100% whole wheat flour bagels and bread that showed up in our kitchen January 1st, foreshadowing things to come. After a few weeks of slowly letting go of the white flour, however, no one seems to mind quite as much anymore. Along with the whole wheat flour, I have also been adding spelt flour to many of our baked goods and breads. I’ve always loved the flavor of spelt, and find it easy to work with in most applications. I had forgotten about the Whole Grain Spelt Dough recipe in Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads, and it has been a welcome addition to dinner. My kids didn’t even notice the crust on their beloved stovetop pizza was slightly heartier, and gobbled down their slices without batting an eye.

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Pizza on a Baking Steel

pizza | Breadin5

After a year of our readers recommending the Baking Steel, I’ve finally given it a try. It is a little surprizing that this hadn’t happened earlier, since I have every other baking surface ever created. As you know, if you read my review of baking stones, I love my Lodge cast iron baking “stone,” but it isn’t perfect. The round shape makes it a bit hard to make baguettes and the lip around the edge makes it tough to clean. The handles on the Lodge are convenient for getting it in and out of the oven, but it means I can’t lay a baking sheet on top of it, so I have to take it out of the oven before baking anything on a baking sheet. None of those things prevented me from using it constantly, until I got the Baking Steel. The shape of the steel is more conducive to baking beyond just pizza and there is no lip or handles to work around. Just like the cast iron, the Baking Steel is virtually indestructible, heats up a bit quicker and conducts heat really well. In fact, I think the steel is the best heat conductor of any of my “stones.” The Baking Steel is a bit more expensive than my other stones. Is it worth it? For me, yes. The shape and heating properties make it worth the extra money, and I’ll use it daily and so it’s worth the investment. The fact that I don’t have to worry about it ever breaking (even on the grill) is a comfort as well.

baking steel | Breadin5

The dimensions of the baking steel 14×16 inches.

If you’d like a chance to win a Baking Steel with carrying case and a copy of our book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day please leave a comment below about your favorite pizza. (The package is only available to be shipped in the USA and subject to all our regular contest rules.)This giveaway is over! (more…)

Mushroom Garlic Thyme Stovetop Pizza

mushroom garlic thyme stovetop pizza | bread in 5

Pizza for dinner is always a favorite around my house, and while I’ve tried it every which way: classic margherita, deep dish, hand tossed, and grilled, it had been awhile since I’ve made a stovetop version. Our Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes A Day book has a great recipe for pizza made in a cast iron skillet, and after making it quite often this past week I remembered how easy and tasty this method is. It’s perfect for dinner, but especially for lunch; pizza is ready quickly without even turning on the oven.

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Grilled Pizza On A Charcoal Grill

Grilled Pizza on a Charcoal Grill | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

We’ve made a lot of grilled pizzas here at Bread in Five, but almost all of them have been on a gas grill. If you’ve ever attempted a pizza on a charcoal grill you know why this is: the pizza is much easier to manage, and there is less change of burning when it’s not over flaming hot coals. However, many people do not own a gas grill, and so we set out to figure out some helpful tips and tricks in making a charcoal grilled pizza a little bit easier. Twenty pizzas later, and we finally have something for you.

There were quite a few things we learned along the way: bread flour makes a nice, sturdy dough, olive oil in the dough keeps the pizza from sticking to the grill, building a hot and cool side in the grill is a must, and keeping the pizzas on the small side makes them easier to manage.

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Star Spangled Berry Pizza on the Grill

4th of July Pizza 10

There is nothing more American than grilling on the 4th of July, well, maybe a star spangled pizza is the most patriotic of all. This is a super fast pizza that is ideal for breakfast, which I just served my family this morning, or can be throw together at your holiday BBQ as dessert. I made the pizza in a small baking sheet, but you can make a larger one if you have a crowd to feed.

Happy 4th of July! (more…)